In an answer to one of Helen’s Parliamentary Questions the government confirmed that between a quarter and a third of patients had to wait more than 15 days for a GP appointment.
“These figures show that there are not currently enough GPs serving Warrington.”
Helen has been pursuing this issue since she obtained figures in 2014 which showed the borough had fewer GPs per head than the average in the North West. By 2017 the town had fewer practitioners than in 2010 when the coalition came to power, despite the population continuing to grow.
Currently the average waiting time for non-emergency GP appointments in Warrington are:
- 25.1% of patients wait between one day and one week;
- 13% of patients wait between 8 days and two weeks;
- 28.6% of patients wait more than 15 days (with over 5% more than 28 days).
“Many constituents tell me that they have problems getting a GP appointment and the problem is not getting better despite promises from government to ‘improve the capacity’. The town needs more GPs because fewer doctors mean longer waiting times and as our population increases the problem gets worse as GPs have to look after more and more people.
“The fact that over a quarter of patients have to wait more than a fortnight, and some as much as a month, is just not acceptable. We need tangible, and urgent, action from the government and Warrington Clinical Commissioning Group.